Plans for Project Life 2012

by jessicaturner on January 3, 2012

Hooray! A new year! A new beginning to Project Life. Today I am going to share an update on my Project Life 2011 album and my plans for 2012. I hope this is helpful to many of you who are beginning your projects as well.

Project Life 2011
No, Operation Project Life was not a success and my album did not get finished.

Yes, I am going to do my best to get it done while also starting my 2012 album.

Over the holiday, I went through my photos and selected everything for November and December, and ordered my prints. I also have completed about three months of journaling cards.

Progress is being made. I am certainly a lot better off than I was in this post.

I am extending myself some grace. After all, 2011 was filled with a lot of change and challenges (pregnancy sickness, new baby, mourning the loss of loved ones…). My goal is to work on journaling one night a week until I am caught up.  Realistically, I don’t know if it will happen, but I am definitely going to try. I have never totally completed a Project Life album. I would like to change that.

Project Life 2012: The Plan and Tools
After three years of treating Project Life as a daily photo exercise, I am moving to the weekly documentation approach. This means, I will focus on doing a spread of our week instead of a Sunday photo, a Monday photo, etc.

I found myself gravitating toward this approach the second half of last year, and I think this will give me the freedom to not feel so chained to one photo per day style + 7 journaling cards. I am looking forward to this new approach + adding more bits of every day life to my album.

This does not mean I will pick up my camera less. I still intend to photograph the ordinary and the extraordinary of every day life.

If you want inspiration for the weekly approach, check out Ali Edwards‘ Project Life pages from 2011. They are incredible. My album will not be nearly as elaborate as Ali’s (her one year filled two albums), but I definitely plan  to include a larger variety of photos/album pages/life bits than I have in the past.

I plan to stick mostly to the kit materials + maybe a few ribbons, stickers, stamps + a few different style page protectors- mostly out of necessity to keep things as simple as possible. This is what I like so much about the Project Life kits – they are so streamlined and offer everything you need to create a really beautiful keepsake for your family. You don’t NEED a lot of extras. Spreads don’t take a huge amount of time. As a busy mom who works full-time, I need and appreciate the simple style.

Here are some of the life bits I plan to include to enhance my album:

  • Handprint art
  • Art from the kids’ school
  • Cards
  • Magazines of timely events
  • Mail scraps – catalogs, World Vision letters, etc.
  • Tickets/programs from events

To stay organized, I plan to use the core kit box + simple 12×12 box that the Project Life pages came in this year for my extra Project Life materials and life bits. Since we don’t have a lot of storage in our condo, this will help me keep all of my supplies and ephemera in one place. I like how thin and sturdy it is. I think it will work well, but will have to try it for a few weeks to see. My plan B is to use one of those 12×12 envelopes that you can get for less than $2 at any craft store.

I have seen some folks have bins filled with lots of extras to incorporate into their albums. While I love how their albums look, the style isn’t for me at this time in my life, so I think the simple storage solution will work well. If do want to add some additional embellishments, I will just go to my craft closet and get them. :)

Here are the basic materials I will be using:

Project Life Tuesday 2012
It starts next week! A new year comes a new sense of excitment and commitment to this project and weekly linky.

I am going to be doing things a bit different this year. Instead of photos + journaling, I will be sharing completed layouts thanks to Epson. You see, my biggest hurdle is 2009, 2010, 2011 was staying on top of getting my weekly spreads done. This was in part because I only developed photos every 6-8 weeks. Well that is all changing!

Epson sent me their Stylus R2880 Large Format Photo Printer to review and use to print all the photos for my Project Life album this year. Each week I will be printing my photos at home and sharing completed layouts on Tuesdays. I have read great things about the Stylus Photo R2880 and am so excited to begin using it. (THANK YOU EPSON!)

Of course, you are invited to link up and share your pictures, journaling, spreads, etc. I hope you will participate! Project Life Tuesday is a great way to stay on top of your photos and generate traffic to your blog.

Project Life Links

A lot of people have been writing about Project Life and their approach over the past few weeks. Here are a few great posts you may be interested in reading:

Project Life on Pinterest

If you are on Pinterest, I recommend starting a Project Life board to store layouts, ideas, etc. that inspire you.


Project Life is amazing because it can be whatever YOU want it to be. Please share in the comments your approach to Project Life for 2012!

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Sonya January 3, 2012 at 9:17 am

I’m looking forward to Project Life Tuesday again. I think I’m going back to sharing my layouts instead of just the pictures this year. I think people enjoy seeing the layouts and because I completed my layouts weekly I didn’t need just the pictures and journaling. Tomorrow I’m posting my Project Life tips for how I keep up with it!


Amy L January 3, 2012 at 9:41 am

This will be my 3rd year doing Project Life. The first year, I did the traditional photo-a-day approach. I missed a few days here and there, but I did actually complete the album. Last year, I thought I would make things easier for myself by going with the digital version (it would save the hassle of having photos developed), but it did NOT work for me. (I am planning to finish the album, but I got REALLY behind. I also missed having a place to put receipts, ticket stubs, etc.) THIS year, I’m approaching it the same way you are. I, too, have been inspired by Ali’s week-by-week concept. I wish us much luck in staying on top of it!


jessicaturner January 3, 2012 at 9:50 am

Yes, luck and time. :)


Kayse January 3, 2012 at 9:42 am

Oh gosh! Here I was thinking that Project Life was simple, and all of those posts just totally intimidated me! I have a tendency to go overboard with projects and therefore never finish them, so I think this year I will try to remember to just focus on getting it done. Photos and journaling cards, and posting layouts every Tuesday so that I have accountability to get it done. It’s my first year and I’m super excited, but a little nervous about being consistent!


jessicaturner January 3, 2012 at 9:50 am

Don’t get intimidated. Keep it simple. That is what Project Life was intended to be, I believe. Hopefully the weekly PL Tuesday posts will help keep you motivated.


Meredith January 3, 2012 at 10:10 am

First off, I love your blog!
I’m using Project life for my girls’ childhood albums, starting with the month of their 1st birthday. I just started my oldest daughter’s album in October and was able to complete a whole year in 3 months. I got 2 new PL core kits for Christmas, so hopefully I will get all caught up on my oldest daughter’s book and get started on my youngest daughter’s. I have been loving Project Life since I got started in October!! Thanks for the inspiration today – I can’t wait for afternoon naps to get more journaling finished!


Bethany Yake January 3, 2012 at 10:23 am

Hi Jessica,

I received a Epson Stylus R2000 (a wide format printer) for Christmas and am planning to print my Project Life photos at home too. However, I have had difficulty in getting the color management set-up between my MAC, Photoshop, and the Epson printer. Would you be able to provide some pointers on getting set-up to receive beautiful prints?

Thank you!


jessicaturner January 3, 2012 at 10:43 am

Hey Bethany – I will be printing from a pc and not a mac and not from photoshop. I think there are online help forums though… sorry. I actually haven’t set mine up yet, but plan to this weekend!


Emily @ The Pilot's Wife January 3, 2012 at 11:44 am

I wrote about starting PL again today too! I think I’m going to take sort of a combined daily/weekly approach, just based on what’s happening at the time. We’ll see how it goes!


Bronwyn @ At Home Mum January 3, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Hi … I am new to Project Life and will be starting (as soon as my package arrives). While I plan on doing Project 365 with my photo taking this year (I did it in 2010 but had a rest in 2011). I am not sure if that is what I will be doing with Project Life … Probably more of a weekly documentation. When I did it last time I loved the fact I had so many photos from P365 but from a scrapping perspective felt a bit limited that I had to choose only 1 from each day and over the week I might like 1 or 2 days more than others. I guess the main thing is that I am going to try and keep it simple … and do alittle each week … otherwise it is just too big.

Can’t wait for the link up on Tuesday


Nelia January 3, 2012 at 4:08 pm


I am a Project Life newbie and just came across your blog. I also work full time and have 2 children (my baby was born in February!), so I love your simple approach. I tend to go overboard and burn out. Glad I found your blog.


Melissa January 3, 2012 at 4:33 pm

I’m brand new to Project Life and as well as doing a 2012 album, I would like to use Project Life to get caught up on past yearly albums. The Project Life Tuesday linky sound great, and I can’t wait to join in!


Jen T January 3, 2012 at 7:34 pm

I am actually on my 4th year with the Project Life–I got the original project 365 before Becky started her own company and changed the name to Project Life. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! I just printed my last photos for 2011 and just have to journal December. I got the Cobalt edition for Christmas and love it! Super excited to get another year done!! I think the key is not to stress, if you take 3 pictures one day and none for a few, no problem. You aren’t getting graded, no one cares if it was actually on the exact day–the important part is that you just do it!


Christy Wallace January 3, 2012 at 9:02 pm

Jessica I wrote my goals for Project life 2012 last night and I also plan to go to the weekly approach. I am hoping this will eliminate my stress in having a photo every single day. I look forward to linking up to Project Life Tuesday and can’t wait to see your layouts each week! Thanks for sharing with us.


Theadora January 3, 2012 at 9:09 pm

I do not have a Project Life (kit/supplies)…hubby says we have to watch our spending. So, for now I am just taking pics each day and journaling in a planner… (my substitute PL kit). I won’t have a layout to share, but I WILL be checking back here daily and definitely EVERY Tuesday to see all of the great ideas!

Thanks for sharing, Jessica!


stephanie January 3, 2012 at 9:13 pm

I am also using the cobalt edition, love the vibrant colors. I have been documenting with Project Life for the last couple of years but this year will be taking a totally different approach than in the past. I want to add more “raw” and “real life” than just saying “this is us at the pumpkin patch.” To get more detail on my approach you can visit my blog at


Liz January 10, 2012 at 5:18 am

Love your blog, I just subscribed. I am new to PL and am hoping to join PL Tuesdays to keep the motivation going. I love how honest you are about not finishing…as a serial project not finisher, I can totally relate! :)


jessicaturner January 10, 2012 at 5:30 am

Thanks so much for subscribing! We have a great community here. :)


Pam S January 11, 2012 at 6:39 pm

I so get where you’re coming from!! 2011 was my first year of Project Life and I hadn’t written on ANY of my journalling cards since early April. I was still taking photos, but It was a mess. Started journalling again during the Christmas/New Year holidays and I’ve been trying to catch up. I’ve decided to type on my journalling cards to try and speed up the process, and I’ve done 25 weeks’ worth in a week and a half. Am determined to finish it and start my cobalt kit for 2012! I’ll definitely start taking part in Project Life Tuesdays……once I start this year’s. :)


nicole January 13, 2012 at 8:18 am

How do I start a digital Project Life Album? I can’t seem to figure it out. Help? I have a friend who did this digitally via wordpress I think… it was so cool I want to do it as well.


jessicaturner January 14, 2012 at 9:44 am

I think you can do a digital version on shutterfly, or yourself using digital elements. I recommend checking out Becky’s blog for more information.


Élise Melançon January 21, 2012 at 12:30 pm


I really like your Life project. Is it possible to purchase the material for the project in Cnanda ? I live in Montreal.

I tried on Amazon but this will not be delivered in Canada.

Have a goog day!


jessicaturner January 22, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Check out for information about getting Project Life outside the US.


Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: